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Staying active in your retirement is very important. You should consider doing some form of exercise every single day, this way you will not only remain physically active but mentally alert as well as helping you to maintain your independence.

Normal everyday life does not require us to move our arms and legs around within their normal full range, so it is important every day to think about doing just this. By so doing you will find your joints are not so stiff and simple things like bending over to put on your socks do not represent a major challenge.

It is vital that you “listen to your body”. Your hips and shoulders will tell you if they do not like a particular movement, so do not go beyond the range that you can comfortable do.

To help prevent joints from getting stiff, it is helpful to every day take them through their full range. When doing so always move slowly and in a controlled way. If you experience pain or tightness then do not go through the pain barrier. Movements should feel comfortable. As you do the movements, check that your shoulders stay down and relaxed.

When exercising, remember to stand tall and do not hold your breath. Pain is a good indicator that you are over doing things so that means you should stop.

Start with some gentle shoulder rolls. Put one hand on the shoulder and circle backwards and then forwards, do this one arm at a time, try around 8 each way.

Imagine that you are swimming in lovely warm water and you are gently swimming breast stroke. Repeat the shoulder rolls this time using the whole arm and trying to take your arm as close to your head as possible. Forwards and backwards.

Repeat the breast stroke swimming.

Allow both arms to swing in front of you to the right and left, and then circle to the right. Repeat again to the left.

Place the heel forward in front of you and then bring the toe in close with your heel high off the floor. Repeat the heel toe movement for 8 each side.

Stand on one leg, place the other foot, toe on to the floor and allow the free foot to circle around. Gently place the heel in front of you, pull back then repeat with the other leg. Continue but instead of placing the heel down to the floor allow the leg to lift off the floor into a flick kick. Remember controlled movements.

If you have hip pain do not do these next two movement patterns. Continue as before but try lifting the knee up, lifting from the hip into a knee raise.

Using a chair for support, allow the leg to move freely around the hip by taking the leg around in a circle and then moving it forward and backwards always using smooth controlled movements.

Stand tall, slowly turn to the right, looking over your right shoulder, right hip coming around with you do not leave it facing forward. Then turn slowly to the left, again bringing the hip around. Repeat 8 times each side.

These simple exercises will help you maintain mobility and could make the difference between living independently or finding that you are unable to do basic things such as dress yourself.

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